I am a food stylist and author of “Japanese Food Made Easy”, which was just published a few months ago by Murdoch Books.
2) What do you always have in your pantry for knocking up a quick meal?
Dried soba or udon noodles and good quality dried Dashi packs. So I can make noodle soup (my comfort food) quickly.
3) What’s your favourite secret ingredient?
Homemade chilli oil, which is in my book. Also I feel uneasy when my bottle of Okonomiyaki sauce is ending….My grandma used to run an okonomiyaki restaurant, so a love of okonomiyaki is in my genes.
4) Do you use miso in your cooking? If so, how do you use it?
Of course! My absolute favourite is miso soup, it’s my soul food. I also make miso marinated fish, and I often use it for dressings, or dipping sauces for noodles. It gives depth to the flavour and is so versatile to use.
“My grandma used to run an okonomiyaki restaurant, so a love of okonomiyaki is in my genes.”
5) Has your cooking changed during lockdown? What are you making that’s different?
It has, I started to cook more vegetables, pulses and tofu due to less access to fresh meat and fish. I want to continue this even after lockdown. Also, I always have been, but find myself even more cautious about food wastage.
6) Tell us something you recently made and how you made it.
Chilled ramen noodle salad with a sesame and miso dressing. This is an ultimate summer dish for Japanese people!
2 skinless chicken breast fillets, about 300 g (101/2 oz)
3 Egg Crepes (see below)
2 tomatoes, halved lengthways and sliced
½ cucumber, cut into matchsticks
½ quantity of Miso Dressing (see below)
360 g (123/4 oz) dried egg noodles
30 g (1 oz) Pickled Ginger, finely chopped, optional (see below)
This is a simple but satisfying lunch option that includes vegetables, meat, eggs and carbohydrates all in one dish. Try it with different toppings, such as prawns (shrimp), Soy-marinated Boiled Eggs or Tea-braised Pork.
Place the chicken in a saucepan, cover with water and bring to the boil over medium heat. As soon as it reaches boiling point, turn off the heat and leave the chicken in the water for 15 minutes.
Cook the egg noodles according to the packet instructions, then drain and rinse under cold running water until cool.
When the chicken is cool enough to handle, remove it from the water and shred the meat.
Divide the noodles among four plates. Arrange the chicken, Egg Crepes, tomato and cucumber on top. Drizzle the dressing over the salad and serve sprinkled with the Pickled Ginger.
Kinshi Tamago (Egg Crepes)
Beat 2 eggs, ½ teaspoon caster (superfine) sugar, ½ teaspoon sake and a pinch of sea salt together in a bowl. Prepare a wet tea towel.
Heat a non-stick frying pan over medium–low heat. Wipe the pan with oiled paper towel. Pour one-third of the egg mixture into the pan and swirl to cover the base of the pan. Cook until the egg starts to set, then take the pan off the heat and cover with the wet tea towel for 1 minute.
Remove the tea towel. Place the pan back on the heat, cover with a lid and cook for another minute. Remove the crepe with a spatula and place on a chopping board. Repeat.
Stack 3 sheets of crepes and roll them together. Cut them into 3 mm (1/8 inch) thick slices. Makes 3 sheets.
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